Public preferences for visual quality and management in the Kackar Mountains National Park (Turkey)

Acar C., Kurdoglu B. Ç., Kurdoglu O., Acar H.

INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT AND WORLD ECOLOGY, vol.13, no.6, pp.499-512, 2006 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 13 Issue: 6
  • Publication Date: 2006
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/13504500609469699
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.499-512
  • Keywords: visual quality, visual landscape management, national parks, Turkey, SCENIC BEAUTY, LANDSCAPE, VALIDITY, CONSERVATION, RELIABILITY, PHOTOGRAPHS, PREDICTION, PERCEPTION
  • Karadeniz Technical University Affiliated: Yes


There are 37 national parks in Turkey, encompassing the most important mountain ecosystems, with high biological, natural, cultural and historical diversity. These parks also have aesthetic and recreational potential, and are valuable components within the country's nature protection programmes. Globally, a landscape can be regarded as the face of an ecosystem and constitutes a relationship between natural structure and visual features. There have been several studies on whether visual quality can provide indicators for landscape planning. Visual quality can also be assessed as a manifesto for community participation. This paper attempts to extend the understanding of visual quality assessment for national parks, using the Kackar Mountains National Park (KMNP) in northeastern Turkey as an example. A detailed survey of visual quality preferences, landscape factors (10 main and 40 sub-factors) and semantic factors (naturalness, variety, fascination, vividness, unity, interesting and exciting) affecting these preferences was made using 30 represenative slides selected from the park. The highest preference was found to be 6.54, while the lowest was 2.30. Regression analysis enabled us to determine the relationship between visual quality and visual landscape attributes. The R-2 value for naturalness was 0.482, while naturalness together with lake and fog percentage was 0.641. The assessment of preferences for the studied views in various landscape units can be evaluated and used for land-use decisions and future planning in KMNP.